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As For Me and My House: A Home of Stories

April 24, 2010

Starting today and continuing until Wednesday, in response to the April chapter in Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project, I wanted to share some of the dreams that Katie and I have for our family in ten years; specifically, these next five posts will discuss five characteristics and themes we desire for our household.

First, we want our house to be a home of stories.

Stories encapsulate a sense of identity. One of my fondest memories at home was the “Jeremiah story”, where Mom and Dad would tell me about the circumstances leading to my adoption and the first time they laid eyes on me and brought me home. This story taught me that I was loved and cherished immensely; I learned that I was special through this story, and we hope to impress upon our children their importance, uniqueness, and value through similar, personal stories.

I took the title of this series from Joshua 24. The book of Joshua describes the difficulties that the Israelites had in fully serving and trusting God despite God’s efforts to establish Israel as a nation. Shortly before his death, Joshua brings the Israelites to Shechem and tells stories of God’s selection of Abraham, deliverance of Israel through Moses, and protection of Israel as they wandered in the desert. These stories connect the Israelites with God, and in verse 15, he gives the Israelites the option of identifying with God’s story. God says, “This is who you are. Choose me, and this is who I will make you into.” We want our children to identify with God through the stories we tell.

Stories spark creativity and imagination. We want to invite our children into the imaginative works, visualizations, and styles of Maurice Sendak and Dr. Seuss. We want our children to explore the fascinating, complex worlds of Narnia and Middle Earth. We dream of our children placing themselves in first century Israel or early 20th century Prince Edward Island and interacting with the characters in those settings. We look forward to our children reading books about science that motivate them to test and experiment with their understandings of the world. We envision our children using stories we read and introduce to them as foundations for their own stories and replications of creativity.

Stories guide us through life. They represent internal conflicts that we face every day; we hope that our children find comfort reading Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day and asking us to tell stories of trying times in our own lives. They represent the people we long to be and characteristics we long to have; we hope that our children are influenced by the love and perseverance of Meg in Madeleine L’Engle’s Time Triology and generosity of The Giving Tree as well as stories of people who have loved, formed, and shaped me and Katie.

What stories (literary or personal) have been influential in your home?

One Comment leave one →
  1. Judy permalink
    April 27, 2010 7:53 pm

    Be sure to introduce them to the public library at a young age, too.

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